"Treat the disease, you win some, you lose some. Treat the patient, you always win."
~Patch Adams~

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Get the Skinny on Acai Berries/Juice

If you have visited more than one website in the last few years, you no doubt have had ads for Acai Berries and juice pop up at you. The Washington Post has an interesting article in its latest health newsletter warning that Acai may not be all it was first cracked up to be. I have heard stories about people losing hundreds of dollars on their credit cards by ordering "free trials" of online products containing Acai.

I'm off on an adventure tonight!

I'm taking a ride up the highway tonight to the Compounding Pharmacy in Hickory, NC. Once a month, they have seminars on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, and I am always interested in learning something new and connecting with others. I will post again after I attend. Have a great day, everyone, enjoy this lovely spring weather!

NY Times on FSH

Follicle Stimulating Hormone! Many of you ask about what the normal values are for this test, what it means, etc, and this article will give you some information to make you a better informed consumer. As always, discuss health issues with your doctor (that's what you're paying him for!)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Menopause? Bring It On! (Hey, that's what it says!)

From The Daily Mail in the UK------here's the link to the article. On a side note, I love reading articles from the British newspapers, their terminology is often a little different than ours. Be sure to read the comments after the article, I love it when one woman complained of gaining "2 stones". Enjoy, and happy Monday (says the woman who is going to spend $900 to get her car out of the shop!)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Insurance Shuns Those Taking Certain Medications

Here's part of the health care------no, make that disease care system in America! Read this article in the Miami Herald about how people who take certain medications are routinely denied access to individual health care insurance.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Many Lacking in Vitamin D Levels

Check this out---Health Day's article on how many American's are deficient in Vitamin D. Most of the new research suggests that the current "recommended daily amounts" of 200 to 400 IU's (International Units) are ridiculously inadequate. More recent studies are advising patients to consume closer to 1000-2000 IU's daily (but always check with your doctor first, I get crazy when people talk about reading a study and simply start taking a vitamin without talking to their doctor or getting their levels checked!). I take 5000 IU's of Vitamin D daily (with physician blessing), and I feel great!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

In the UK, Being Menopausal is -------

Well, read about it here! A real post coming later, but this made me laugh, leave a comment and tell me what you think!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What do expect from a colonoscopy!

I found this article on Yahoo News the other day, and coincidentally, I am scheduled for my screening colonoscopy (I turned 50 last year) next Thursday. Getting necessary medical tests, along with proper hormonal balance, are very important facets of living healthy in the second half of our lives. Enjoy the article, and if you have not yet made an appointment for a screening, what the hell are you waiting for????

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Some Ways You Can Reduce Your Healthcare Footprint

We all want to save some money these days, and this morning's Charlotte Observer details a number of ways to save money on health care. Most of these are common sense suggestions, and yet good reminders. One of the best ways I have saved money is by using bioidentical hormones, in figuring out the total financial cost (never mind all the long term savings in benefits to my health and well being)---my insurance company saves over $500 PER MONTH in cost, and I save over $100 per month in co-pays by my being off so many medications. Something to think about if you are determined that unless your insurance pays full shot for everything, you don't want to be bothered checking out bioidentical hormones.

Perimenopause Can Be Unpredictable----

Gee, really? This article was in this morning's Charlotte Observer, and I am willing to bet a lot of doctors (the ones prescribing bioidentical hormone replacement therapy) wouldn't agree with some of the hormonal recommendations. Click here to read the article, and don't forget to enjoy the neat illustration!

Monday, March 23, 2009

AD/HD, Hormones and Women

ADD tude magazine has an excellent article in the current issue on how hormonal levels affect women with AD/HD throughout their lives. Click here to read the story.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Great resource, sign up for her newsletter!

If I have not shared this link with you before, my apologies! Virginia Hopkins Health Watch website has a big library of articles on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and related men's and women's health issues. I HIGHLY recommend checking it out, and be sure to sign up for her e-newsletter, I love reading it. Have a great weekend, everyone, get out and enjoy the sunshine (great source of natural Vitamin D) and hope your favourite team wins in the March Madness (I'm pulling for Syracuse, I grew up in that area and my psychologist, Paul Cohen is an SU graduate-----GO ORANGE!)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Truth about Hormones

With thanks to Terri Coburn at Hotze Health and Wellness Center for bringing this to my attention! Dr. Erica Schwartz, et. al, presents this well written article in The Wall Street Journal, click here to check it out!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I promise a real post tomorrow!

Hi everyone, a very busy day today and I just got home at 7 pm, so I will make this a very short post today. Just a reminder for everyone over 50, if you have not scheduled a screening colonoscopy, please do ------- it's very important and can be a life saver. I had an appointment today to arrange mine, tentatively April 2. Take care, more tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Answering the Critics --- FDA

A great blog on bioidentical hormones can be found over at The Compounder----if you haven't already done so, make sure to add it to your reading list. Today's post is about the FDA trying to come down on compounding pharmacies, with the support and urging of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. The post is well written and clearly lays out how the FDA is trying to intimidate the compounding pharmacy industry. Some very good links, too! Be sure to check it out-----

All Hormones Are NOT The Same!

Articles like this make me mad enough to scream! Austin Women Navigate the Maze of Menopause.......tells a very brief story about one woman who took "hormones" (I'm guessing they were synthetic, not bioidentical), developed breast cancer, and now tells her friends to stay away from hormones. We have so much work to do to educate women, their doctors, and certainly the media that all hormones are not the same! I also think we need to shift the discussion from bioidentical hormones just relieving the symptoms of menopause (although they are marvelous for that!) to using BHRT as an important tool in preventive health care for both men and women of all ages.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Oprah's Doctors Talk about BHRT

This article in the Charleston, SC Post and Courier, written by Drs. Oz and Roizen discusses adding aspirin therapy to your hormone protocol. I have been taking one 81 mg low dose aspirin for years, way before I started biodentical hormones. As, always, discuss this with your doctor before beginning aspirin therapy. Aspirin, although sold over the counter, is still a medication and should be treated accordingly.

Read This Article To The Man You Love!

This article from Medical News Today is about a study done in the UK ---- showing an increase in Type 2 diabetes in men with Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome. There is still a controversy in the medical community over whether men actually do experience their own form of menopause, known as andropause (or, tongue in cheek, "manopause"). An interesting read!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Real Holy Hormones!

Thought you might like to see an updated picture of me, the first formal portrait I have had taken in years. Enjoy!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Good Article on Emotional Eating

I have talked to so many women over the last few months who are just frustrated at their lack of success in losing weight, and nearly all of them have commented that much of their problem stems from emotional eating (and I am with them on that, I can't remember when I ever craved carbs as much as I have in the last 6 months, it's been a huge struggle). This article from Yahoo News lays out some tips to help overcome eating when you are hungry for something other than food.

Another Source for Finding a Practitioner.

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) has a list of practitioners who specialize in taking care of women and their menopausal symptoms. You can access the site by clicking here!

8 Symptoms Women over 40 Should NOT Ignore

Good article on the Today Show website, important reminders for all of us. Click here to read!

Suzanne Somers on 700 Club

Suzanne Somers was on Pat Robertson's 700 Club show earlier this week talking about her book Breakthrough. Click here to see video of the segment.

The Lighter Side of Menopause

Several years ago, Menopause the Musical (no, really, that's what it's called) played for about 4-5 months in Charlotte, NC. I went to see it twice, and it is absolutely a HOOT! This article about the play popped up on my news finder this morning, be sure to read it. If the play comes to your city, do yourself a favour and go see it, a wonderful evening!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Menopause and Sleep

Tylenol has an article that can be accessed by clicking here on a few ways to deal with sleep issues during menopause. Nothing earthshattering, but it's always good to review lists like this to make sure we're practicing good sleep habits.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Testosterone Gel being Tested for Women

Article from Moldova-----click here to read it. Many menopausal women, especially those on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, already use compounded testosterone cream.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Insurers Commitment to Health Care Reform is Only Skin Deep

Excellent article in today's LA Times about how the health care insurance industry is making a lot of noise, but little progress in bringing universal health care to all Americans.

Menopausal Barbie

We all know menopause is not for the faint of heart, and even if your breasts are made of plastic (and I don't mean you are addicted to plastic surgery----I mean if your breasts are really, really plastic), you will face challenges. Our favourite doll, Barbie, turns 50 this year, and The Times online talks about menopausal Barbie ------ check it at out by clicking here. NOTE: I'm having a really lousy day, so I am deliberately putting something silly and lighthearted on the blog today, while I look for some more substantive, informative articles on BHRT, hormones, menopause/andropause, and related issues!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

One more reason not to smoke-----

Fortunately, few people I know smoke, but this is an important article on one more reason middle age women shouldn't smoke! Have a great day everyone!

Another reason to spread the word on BHRT----

The Telegraph in the UK has an article that says 8 in 10 menopausal women are unhappy about their sex life. That's a startling number, and truly sad because there are treatments available to help.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Here's another one I would think is obvious-----

Women who think optimistically live longer-----doesn't this sort of go along with the study that says depressed women have more physical complaints, symptoms, and tend to die sooner? Anyway, here's the article, read it and then go fill a glass of water half full!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Hmmmmm, you think I might get invited to one of these? I'm quite passionate about the subject matter!

President Obama is holding health care summits in different parts of the country in April, maybe I can get invited to the North Carolina one to speak on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy! Wouldn't that be a kick! Here's the link to the article!

Menopause is not for sissies!

As we all know, right? Check out this article from the most recent issue of the Women In Balance website.

Never too late to start exercising----

and this article from Yahoo News tells us all about it!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Low Vitamin D May be a Bigger Problem than First Thought

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Many U.S. teenagers -- including half of African Americans -- would be considered vitamin D-deficient if the definition of deficiency were changed to what many experts recommend, a new study finds.
Right now, people are considered to have an overt deficiency in vitamin D when blood levels drop below 11 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL), but there is debate over how the optimal vitamin D level should be defined.
Some experts consider a level of 30 ng/mL or higher to be desirable for overall health, and many argue that the cutoff for deficiency should be 20 ng/mL.
In the new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers found that adopting the 20 ng/mL standard would push many more U.S. teenagers into the vitamin D-deficient category.
Using data from a government health survey of nearly 3,000 12- to 19- year-olds, they found that 14 percent would be deficient in vitamin D -- compared with 2 percent when the current standard was applied.
What's more, 50 percent of black teenagers would be considered vitamin D-deficient, up from 11 percent under the current definition.
Also at elevated risk were overweight teens, who were twice as likely as their thinner peers to have a deficiency, according to Dr. Sandy Saintonge and colleagues at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York.
Vitamin D has been the subject of much research of late, including one recent study showing that 40 percent of U.S. babies and toddlers may have inadequate blood levels of the vitamin.
Vitamin D is necessary for healthy bone development and maintenance, and it also plays a role in nerve, muscle and immune system function. Some studies have linked low vitamin D levels to a higher risk of type 1 diabetes in children and, in adults, heart disease and certain cancers.
The latest findings, according to Saintonge's team, suggest that teenagers should take supplemental vitamin D, and possibly have their blood levels of the vitamin routinely checked -- especially if they are at high risk of deficiency.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants, children and teenagers get 400 IU of vitamin D each day. Milk, breakfast cereals and orange juice fortified with the vitamin are the main food sources, though some fatty fish naturally contain high amounts of vitamin D. Experts recommend vitamin pills for children who do not get enough of the vitamin from food.
Vitamin D is naturally synthesized in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. This process is less efficient in people with darker skin, which is one reason African Americans are at higher risk of deficiency.
Overweight children and adults appear to be at elevated risk because vitamin D is stored in body fat. The more vitamin D that gets taken up by fat tissue, the less active vitamin there is in the blood.
SOURCE: Pediatrics, March 2009.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Didn't even know this site existed!

I knew there was a Ratemyprof website for students to rate their college professors, but until this article popped up on the Yahoo News site, I did not know there was a site for rating a doctor. Good thing I don't live in the past, boy, could I vent about some of the jackass doctors I've had in the past. However, I am now one blessed puppy to have two excellent physicians, Dr. Mark Hines is my pain managment physician here in NC, and Dr. John Carr, of course, is my BHRT doctor in CA. I did the rating for Dr. Carr just a few minutes ago, comments are limited to 1000 characters. This is what I wrote:

Dr. Carr's extensive knowledge of bioidentical hormone therapy is why I travel from NC to CA to remain his patient. He listens to his patient, takes time needed to deal the concerns, and is one of those rare physicians who treats patients, not lab results. Since under his care, the quality of my health has dramatically improved, and I credit his help, along with the biodentical hormone replacement therapy, with the improvements. Our health care system needs more professionals who are willing to think outside the box in terms of treatment modalities. Dr. Carr is also very knowledgeable about supplements and the lifestyle changes necessary to live an active, healthy, long life. He practices what he preaches, takes care of himself, takes BHRT, and works out regularly. As a patient, I find that comforting. Do yourself a favor, you do not have to feel sick and tired all the time, explore the benefits of bioidentical hromones and make an appointment with Dr. Carr.

Leave a comment and tell me what you think of these sites! I'm not sure what to think, in some ways they can be useful, but the anonymity is a little disconcerting. I know a lot of women are still burning up the Oprah.com website trying to find recommendations for bioidentical hormone doctors with varying degrees of success.

If I didn't find satisfaction, I wouldn't leave a comment on a website, but I would likely write the doctor a letter telling him why I wouldn't return to his practice (and I have done this). In one extraordinary instance, I blew a doctor in to the Social Security Administration, my Congressman and Senator, and the State Medical Board, and he got fired, but it was because he had received multiple complaints. It was a long time ago, and although I was ultimately relieved to find that he was no longer working at the facility, it was an emotional, upsetting situation and I hope to never have to repeat it.

Yes, but will community health centers have doctors trained in BHRT????

For the time being at least, I'm afraid in my dreams. Nonetheless, at least we are again talking about the right of healthcare for all, click on this link to read about how community health centers will likely be a part of any health care reform.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Vitamin D

I constantly stress to anyone who will listen the importance of Vitamin D, here's one more reason ---- click here to read the article!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Another Blog on BHRT!

I'm so pleased to bring you this link to another blog on bioidentical hormone therapy! Forgive the brevity of my post today, we got 4-5 inches of snow in Charlotte, NC yesterday and last night, and I am just getting my Internet back after over 15 hours! Yikes! Here are a couple pictures taken this morning from my deck: